2012 Statement


Greeting of Ambassador Jun Yamazaki

Opening Ceremony for the Photo Exhibition

Children and the 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami:

UNICEF at work

5 March 2012, Visitors Lobby



Mr. Kiyotaka Akasaka, Under Secretary-General for Communication and Public Information,

Ms. Yoka Brandt, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF,

Mr. Yoshihisa Togo, Vice Chair, Japan Committee for UNICEF,

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,


It is a great  honor to make a statement before you at the opening ceremony of the photo exhibition “Children and the 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: UNICEF at work”.


First of all, I would like to thank the Japan Committee for UNICEF for providing this very meaningful opportunity to recall and commemorate that tragic day and the many difficult days that followed.


One year is going to pass since these multiple disasters struck Japan on 11 March 2011, and photograghs on display today vividly depict how devastating the earthquake and the tsunami were.  It is really beyond description.


After the disaster, we received generous support from all over the world.  On behalf of the people and the Government of Japan,  I would like to express our deepfelt gratitude to such support and show of solidarity.  UNICEF assisted us very much and so did the Japan Committee for UNICEF.


I was told that the photographs on exhibit today were  contributed to the Committee by well known Japanese  photographers as well as by Japanese newspapers and news wire service companies.  I believe it demonstrates the strong sense of support and appreciation that exists in Japan towards UNICEF.


Those pictures also show the resilience of the people of Japan who have conducted themselves in a very dignified way.


As Prime Minister Noda pledged in his January policy speech to the Diet, which is by the way the Japanese parliament, making every effort for the recovery and reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake is at the very forefront of the Japanese government’s policy agenda.


At the international level, we believe that sharing the knowledge and lessons learned from the disaster is one of the ways in which we may reciprocate the warm support we received from all over the world.  For the purpose of building resilient society and mainstreaming disaster risk reduction, the Government of Japan will host a “high-level international conference on large scale natural disasters” in the Tohoku region in July this year and intends to host the third United Nations disaster conference in 2015.  The people and the Government of Japan look forward to working together with the international community to building resilient societies.


I hope that this exhibit will be a great success and will be a reminder of the strong sense of friendship, bond and solidarity among ourselves.


Thank you.